In September 2020, Lex Fridman asked his renowned podcast guest, Joe Rogan, about how he manages obsession.
“My most formative years, from 15 until I was 22, were spent obsessed with martial arts,” Rogan responded. He added that he has a “competitive demon” inside, which forces Rogan to carefully choose which craft he’s going to conquer next.
Early Fighting Obsession
During those early years, Rogan performed incredible accomplishments in the world of competitive fighting. He used his obsession to compete in Taekwondo, where he was a four-time state champion in Massachusetts.
Rogan broke down his martial arts history on his very own podcast and talked about “filling the holes in his game.” This led him to practice kickboxing full-time and develop a devastating striking power before shifting to a stand-up comedy career at 21 years old.
First Interest in Jiu-Jitsu
Despite the busy schedule Rogan already had, he picked up Jiu-Jitsu in 1996 after working as an interviewer for the UFC. He was interested in Jiu-Jitsu as he watched UFC fighters grapple with each other on the ground to gain the upper hand in a match.
Since coming from stand-up fighting techniques, the Jiu-Jitsu ground game was a new obsession for Rogan.
From 1997 to 2006, Rogan gained popularity through his comedy, hosting Fear Factor and calling UFC fights as a color-commentator. During his success in television, he trained in Jiu-Jitsu under Carlson Gracie in Los Angeles, California.
Joe Rogan’s Black Belts
In June 2012, Rogan received his first black belt at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu. During an emotional ceremony, Eddie Bravo handed Rogan his black belt as the members of 10th Planet cheered and clapped.
Bravo announced that Rogan did so much for the gym, including coming up with the name “10th Planet.” Bravo also explained how Rogan held the brown belt (8 years) longer than anybody because of how busy he was in his career. Immediately after receiving his black belt, Rogan stated that it was one of the proudest days of his life.
10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu trains with a “no-gi” system. No traditional two-piece garments are required to train, changing the grappling system when compared to Jiu-Jitsu with a Gi. No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu means that grabbing clothes is not allowed, while Gi Jiu-Jitsu encourages the technical gripping of the Gi.
The two styles of Jiu-Jitsu have separate ranks for achieving a black belt. Rogan acquired his Gi Jiu-Jitsu black belt in September 2012, under Jean Jacques Machado. He acknowledged his black belt as a great honor on a proud social media post.
Besides his enormous success and popular personality, Joe Rogan is an accomplished fighter as well. He has studied several forms of mixed martial arts such as Taekwondo, kickboxing, and Jiu-Jitsu.
While practicing the art of fighting, Rogan excelled, and was motivated by his competitive obsession to achieve his goals. Even though he has always had to juggle his successful career, Rogan found the time to add two black belts to his long list of lifetime achievements.